Your whiskey bottle is about to get a whole lot more interesting. According to a press release, booze giant Diageo has created a "smart" Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottle. The company teamed up with a "digital technology specialist" to create the prototype that it introduced at the Mobile World Congress conference earlier this week.
USA Today writes that the high-tech bottle comes with "special technology" that allows Diageo to track a bottle's movements "across the supply chain to the point of consumption." Forbes adds that the technology is meant to help Diageo combat counterfeiting. With a few taps on a smartphone, the bottle can tell Diageo and customers whether it is sealed or opened. For the technology to work, all customers have to do is wave a smartphone near the bottle.
Johnnie Walker Blue just got a whole lot more expensive.
The smart bottle has the ability to send "relevant, personalized messages to consumers," too. This means that when the bottle is unopened, sitting on a store shelf, a digital message could appear on customers' phones that "entice[s] shoppers" with something like a special deal. Once the bottle has been opened, the messaging could switch to serving suggestions. Venky Balakrishnan, the global vice president of digital innovation at Diageo, tells USA Today that they see bottles as more than a "container for liquid" but something that can be utilized "before, during, and after [a] purchase."
Balakrishnan insists that the company will not use the messaging technology to spam customers "with any messaging they don't specifically request." Even after consumers wave their phones close to a bottle, they must "actively opt-in and then confirm that they are of legal drinking age." The smart bottles will hit store shelves in about three years.
Bottles aren't the only container brands have upgraded with "smart" technology. Last year, a company invented a "smart cup" called Vessyl that can identify any liquid that is poured into it. The cup syncs with a user's smart phone and records their "real-time hydration," including specific calories, grams of caffeine, and sugar content of the beverage.